This Weekend in Fights! (April 21st, 2012) finally saw the grudge match of this era, between UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and former teammate Rashad Evans. Bellator had a much anticipated super fight, between fromer Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and Japanese sensation Shinya Aoki, as well they held their semifinals of both the Middleweight and Lightweight tournaments. Quebec based MMA promotion WRECK MMA held their ninth event, crowning a new Bantamweight champion.
Bellator 66 kicked off the weekend’s festivities at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The event was headlined with a rematch three years in the making as former Bellator Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez squared off against DREAM Lighweight champion Shinya Aoki. On December 31, 2008, Aoki submitted Alvarez with a heel hook in 92 seconds. This time around it would be Alvarez that would get the first round victory with 134 second TKO. After dropping Aoki twice, Alvarez pounced on Aoki, delivering a relentless barrage of ground and pound strikes, forcing the referee to call a stop to the action. In what was to a very anticipated rematch, ended up being a very one sided bout.
In the first Middleweight tournament semifinal matchup, Maiquel Falcao took on Vyacheslav Vasilevsky in a three round war. Despite his good foot work and takedowns, Vasilevsky was unable to match Falcao on his feet and ultimately lost the fight in the eyes of the judges. The other semifinal Middleweight tournament bout had a shocking conclusion, as last minute replacement, Andreas Spang came back from near defeat to knockout Brian Rogers. Spang attempted to end the bout in the first round with a standing rear-naked choke, but Rogers was able to fight it off and connect with a series of strikes. Rogers continued his striking in the second round, rocking Spang, but unable to deliver the kill shot. Spang regained his composure, and came out swinging, connecting with a left hook that knocked Rogers out on his feet. As Rogers fell to the floor, Spang connected with another couple of shots, but the bout was over. Spang now moves into the finals against Maiquel Falcao.
The semifinals of the Lightweight tournament took place, and although, Lloyd Woodard had a spectacular performance in his quarterfinal matchup, the standup skill of the former Welterweight combatant Rick Hawn. During the second round, Hawn scored a 10 second knockout of Woodard, punching his ticket to the finals. In the other semifinal matchup, Brent Weedman edged out prolific kickboxer Thiago Michel. Michel did a fantastic job of damaging the eye of Weedman, but it was Weedman’s grappling that proved to be the deciding factor, as he picked up the split decision victory. Weedman will now take on Hawn in the finals.
Wreck MMA 9: Road to Glory took place at Casino Lac Leamy, in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada on Friday night. The event was headlined with a bout between Randy Turner and Eric Perez to crown the inaugural WRECK MMA Bantamweight champion. Turner used his superior ground skills to control Perez on the ground for the majority of the bout, busting him open in the third, and continuing his ground and pound assault throughout the remainder of the bout for unanimous decision after five rounds.
Former BTT Canada standout Nabil Khatib was in action against Brandt Dewsbery. Dewsbery was on the receiving of a lot of takedowns from Nabil Khatib, but was able to pick up the victory with his wide variety of strikes.
After going 0-2 in the UFC Mark Holst retired from MMA action back in October of 2010, he returned to action in January of 2011 for WRECK MMA. 16 months later Holst would return to action once again for WRECK MMA to take on Stephane Lamarche. Holst would attempt a variety of submissions in the second round, including a rear-naked choke, omaplata, and finally a kimura that got him the victory midway through the second round.
Undefeated Women’s MMA 130lbs fighter Claudia Gadelha continued her streak, with a split decision victory over Quebec standout Valerie Letourneau. Gadelha was cut open during the bout, but used a lay and pray style to control the bout, in what can only be described as a very lackluster bout. Also on the card, former UFC, WEC veteran and MTV reality star Kit Cope ended his four fight losing skid with a first round arm bar submission victory over Jeff Harrison. (Full WRECK MMA 9: Road to Glory events results below.)
On Saturday night UFC 145 took place at the Phillips Arena, in Atlanta Georgia. The headliner was of course the much anticipated grudge match between fromer teammates turned bitter rivals, as UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones squared off against Rashad Evans. Although, the bout did not have a finish, Jones easily defending all of Evans’ takedown attempts and kept the former champion at bay with a variety of kicks and punches. Jones connected with a few big shots that cause Evans to fumble, but was unable to deliver the kill shot. Evans looked completely confused and out classed, as he had no answers for anything Jones threw his way. After five rounds, Jones was awarded the unanimous decision, picking up his third title defense.
In the co-main event of the evening, Rory MacDonald outclassed Che Mills by taking him down, and delivering some vicious ground and pound rendering Mills a bloody mess. In the second round, MacDonald continued his ground and pound assault forcing the referee to call a stop to the action midway through the round.
“Big” Ben Rothwell picked up his 19th career knockout over Brendan Schaub. Schaub seemed to have rocked Rothwell, and was moving in with wild strikes to finish him off. Rothwell however, connected with a counter left hook, dropping Schaub to the ground immediately for the victory in just 70 seconds. In another first round knockout, Bantamweight Michael McDonald connected with a uppercut-jab-uppercut combo to knockout the former Bantamweight kingpin Miguel Torres.
Only two of the five Canadians of the card picked up victories, as Chris Clements went the distance for the first time in his career with a split decision over Keith Wisniewski. Mark Bocek picked up a unanimous decision over fellow Canadian John Alessio. While both Mark Hominick and John Makdessi suffered decision losses, with Hominick losing to a split decision to Eddie Yagin, and Makdessi losing a unanimous decision to Anthony Njokuani. (Full UFC 145 event results below.)
Friday Night Fights -
Eddie Alvarez def. Shinya Aoki via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:14
Andreas Spang def. Brian Rogers via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 3:34 – middleweight tourney semifinal
Maiquel Falcao def. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29) – middleweight tourney semifinal
Rick Hawn def. Lloyd Woodard via KO (punch) – Round 2, 0:10 – lightweight tourney semifinal
Brent Weedman def. Thiago Michel via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) – lightweight tourney semifinal
Jessica Eye def. Anita Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
John Hawk def. Marcus Vanttinen via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Attila Vegh def. Dan Spohn via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Frank Carabello def. Donny Walker via knockout (flying knee) – Round 4, 2:25
Julian Lane def. Joe Heiland via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:49
Randy Turner def. Eric Perez via Unanimous Decision (48-47,48-47,48-47)
-new WRECK Bantamweight champion
Brandt Dewsbery def. Nabil Khatib via Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,29-28)
Mark Holst def. Stephane Lamarche via Submission (Kimura)- Round 2, 2:29
Claudia Gadelha def. Valerie Letourneau via Split Decision (30-27,29-28,28-29)
Kit Cope def. Jeff Harrison via Submission (Armbar) – Round 1, 2:12
Pablo Santos def. Manny Alfaro via Submission (Kimura) – Round 1, 4:07
Felipe Olivieri def. David Douglas via TKO – Round 1, 2:54
Andrew Walters def. Robert Seres via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 1, 4:15
Andrew Cseh def. James Haourt via Unanimous Decision
Sam Alvey def. Danieal Almeida via TKO (injury)- Round 1, 1:41
Brandon Hachey def. Bojan Kladnjakovic via Split Decision (30-28,30-28,28-29)
Saturday Night Fights -
Champ Jon Jones def. Rashad Evans via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) - retains light-heavyweight title
Rory MacDonald def. Che Mills via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:20
Ben Rothwell def. Brendan Schaub via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:10
Michael McDonald def. Miguel Torres via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:18
Eddie Yagin def. Mark Hominick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mark Bocek def. John Alessio via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Travis Browne def. Chad Griggs via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:29
Matt Brown def. Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
Anthony Njokuani def. John Makdessi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mac Danzig def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Chris Clements def. Keith Wisniewski via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Marcus Brimage def. Maximo Blanco via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)